The proposed ‘Hate Crime’ law is a threat to the democratic functioning of society , according to the leader of Aontu.
Speaking in Dáil Éireann last week, Peader Toibin urged Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, to rethink the bill.
“I like many others want a society where citizens engage respectfully, with empathy and with generosity with views or ideas that they disagree with. I believe that can be achieved culturally in society and by raising our children with respect. But this is a bill that takes away human rights”.
It reduces liberty and freedom for citizens to democratically express themselves. The so-called definitions in the Bill are so ill defined that they are wide open for misinterpretation and abuse. I and many others fear that it will inhibit the ability for honest democratic discourse and as a result weaken societies ability to grapple with real and significant challenges. Your Bill is a threat to the democratic function of our society”, he said.